02/18/2010 12:00AM

Golden Gate gets NTRA safety approval


The Safety and Integrity Alliance of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has accredited Golden Gate Fields in Northern California, the organization announced on Thursday.

Golden Gate is the 15th racetrack in the United States and the last major racetrack in California to be accredited by the alliance, which was formed late in 2008 to address public-perception concerns about racing. Participation in the alliance's accreditation program is voluntary, and so far, only one racetrack, Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, has fallen short of the alliance's requirements for full accreditation.

Officials for the alliance said that they visited Golden Gate on January 21 and 22 to conduct an on-site review after the track filled out a 48-page application for accreditation. According to Mike Ziegler, the executive director of the alliance, Golden Gate "exceeded prescribed benchmarks on the vast majority of fronts and received high marks for industry-wide best practices"in several areas.

Requirements for accreditation include measures that are enacted and enforced by both the racetracks and state regulatory agencies.